Sophia Reinders

Jun 6, 2022

The Alchemy of the Senses

From Perception to Creative Participation in the Sensuous Kinship of Body and Earth

New Books Network 2022

Today we will be speaking with EWP adjunct faculty Sophia Reinders, about her academic and personal journey from phenomenology, to Jungian depth psychology, expressive arts and eco-arts therapy to ecopsychology and evolutionary cosmology. She shares with us the life changing experience of discovering her earth soul at the depth and as the depth of the psyche, embedded in earth. This led her to a deep and passionate exploration of the intricate intertwinement of the human community with the more than human earth and all its life forms. The felt-sense of this encompassing perspective now finds expression in her teaching and her pedagogy as a scholar-practitioner. Drawing on the ecological imagination and guiding students in multimodal practices of creative embodiment, she encourages a shift away from a human-centered towards an earth-cherishing consciousness within which to consider and experience the realm of the human, be this within or beyond academic pursuits.

Sophia asks us to think about our senses as a “palette of embodied languages”. Multi-modal sensory awareness, she says, deepens our experience of aliveness and discloses perception as participation with the earth. She sees participatory perception as a form of holistic, embodied understanding in which feeling, intuiting, imagining, thinking and visioning come together and enrich both academic and non-academic pursuits.

To end the podcast, Sophia guides Stephen and I through a sensory awareness practice, opening us to experience how every act of perception is a creative practice, and the transformative power of cultivating an alchemical reciprocity between psyche and nature, awakening to a deeper embodied knowing.

Sophia Reinders PhD, MFT, REAT is the founding Director of the WisdomBody Institute for Creative Psychotherapy and Expressive Arts,

She is Adjunct Senior Lecturer in East-West Psychology, School of Consciousness and Transformation at CIIS and instructor at the Sky Mountain Institute of Expressive Arts and Eco-Arts Therapy in San Diego.

Her research interests and teaching revolve around embodied ecopsychology, strengthening the awareness of the human-earth intertwinement; creative Eco-Arts dreamwork, and the felt-sense experience of evolutionary cosmology, evoked and deepened through embodied multimodal creative practices.

Her recent publications include The Sensuous Kinship of Body and Earth. In Ecopsychology. VOL. 9 NO. 1

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Hosted by Stephen Julich (EWP adjunct faculty, program manager) and Jonathan Kay (PhD student, EWP assistant)

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Stephen Julich and Jonathan Kay

Stephen Julich has worked as an adjunct instructor in History and Anthropology at the City College of New York, as a lecturer in Jungian Studies at the University of Philosophical Research in Los Angeles, and as an adjunct instructor at the California Institute of Integral Studies where he has taught classes on ensouled writing and Western Esotericism.

Jonathan Kay is a professional musician, and is currently a PhD student in the department of East-West Psychology at California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco under the mentorship of Dr. Debashish Banerji.

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